Adobe Flash, the clunky and unsearchable interactive plugin tech, was always bad. Its presence on a website guaranteed a user interface disaster, an unblockable ad, or general bloated shonkiness. But it was also liberating, making animation and programming accessible in a way unseen since the days of 8-bit computers with BASIC built-in. Flash Is Responsible for the Internet's Most Creative Era, writes Ernie Smith.
The web has actually gotten less creative over time, not more. This interpretation of events is a key underpinning of Web Design: The Evolution of the Digital World 1990-Today (Taschen, $50), a new visual-heavy book from author Rob Ford and editor Julius Wiedemann that does something that hasn’t been done on the broader internet in quite a long time: It praises the use of Flash as a creative tool, rather than a bloated malware vessel, and laments the ways that visual convention, technical shifts, and walled gardens have started to rein in much of this unvarnished creativity.
This is a realm where small agencies supporting big brands, creative experimenters with nothing to lose, and teenage hobbyists could stand out simply by being willing to try something risky. It was a canvas with a built-in distribution model. What wasn’t to like ... besides a whole host of malware?
Actionscript 2 was the heart of this, a marvel of approachability to amateurs, beginners and people who were just not gonna put up with a bigger headache. After years of trying to learn to program, AS2 got me going. The more capable and pro-oriented Actionscript 3 killed Flash's accessibility to nonprogrammers stone dead and (for better or worse) energized the market for more dedicated game making software.
A young Massachusetts woman who recently graduated from Tufts University is convinced that she has found a ‘secret’ encoded message in “Paradise Lost,” the poem by John Milton.
Simon Niklaus et al devised a method to convincingly add a 3D Ken Burns zoom effect to 2D photographs. Their code works as well as a professional graphic designer: better than simple cut-outs slapped into an After Effects stage, thought I still get that slightly uncanny “2.5D” Viewmaster effect. The Ken Burns effect allows animating […]
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Vinyl is officially back. People are hearing the proof behind the initial “retro” excitement: that records really do have a richer sound. And if you haven’t switched to old-school records for serious listening, it’s a new golden age. Why? Because quality turntables like the Altec Lansing ALT-500 are finally available to a market other than […]
Between all of our apps, streaming devices, Bluetooth speakers, and energy-sucking decorations, paying for utilities each month can be…brutal. In fact, the average household spends roughly $70 a month on the water bill alone. That number might not seem terribly significant, but when you add it up, that’s $840 a year — a pretty significant […]